- What to Look for in a Kid-Friendly Dog Breed
- 3 Best Small Non-Shedding Kid-Friendly Breeds
- 10 Best Small Dogs for Families with Kids
Are you looking for a child-friendly dog breed that doesn’t shed? Congratulations on being a responsible parent. In this article we can help you find what you’re look for and tell you:
- What to look for in a kid-friendly dog breed.
- Tell you the three best small non-shedding kid-friendly breeds.
- And advise you on the 10 best small dogs for families with kids.
A dog can be a great addition to a family but not every dog is good with kids or babies. If you’re also looking for a breed that doesn’t shed, that can narrow your choices even further. Luckily, there are some breeds, including some small dogs, that are perfect for this job. If you’re looking for the best small family dog or the best small dog breed for babies, you’ve come to the right place. We can tell you what you need to know.
What to Look for in a Kid-Friendly Dog Breed
If you have kids there are some important characteristics a dog needs to have if he’s going to be a good fit for your family. Here are the traits that a kid-friendly dog breed needs:
- Temperament. Temperament. Temperament. This first trait is so important that it could probably make up for any shortcomings in some of the other traits. A dog that’s going to be around kids, toddlers, or babies needs to have a gentle, sweet, tolerant, forgiving temperament. The dog should never, under any circumstances, offer to bite a child. A good-natured dog is worth his weight in gold if he’s going to spend time with your children.
- Good energy. If you have kids, you need a dog that can keep up with them. Easy-going dogs are great but if you have a dog that sleeps all the time or that is too mellow, he may not interact with your kids much. He’ll probably let your kids crawl over him without protest but some kids like dogs that are more fun. If you are looking for a breed that will run and play with your children, look for a breed that is more active.
- Easy to train. Lots of dogs are great fun but that doesn’t mean they are easy to train. You can usually train any dog with positive reinforcement (praise and reward) if you are patient, but not everyone has a lot of time for training. We suggest that you look for a dog from a breed that has a good reputation for being easy to train. This will make things like house training and basic good manners much easier to teach.
- Low maintenance. If you have kids, and one or both parents work outside the home, you probably already have a full plate. Dealing with a dog that requires extensive grooming every week could be a problem. For this reason, we suggest looking for a breed that has low-maintenance grooming needs. Or, a breed that can simply visit a pet groomer once every 6-8 weeks. Many of the non-shedding breeds do well if they see a groomer every couple of months.
You may think that this paragon of a dog that meets all of these requirements doesn’t exist but we can tell you about kid-friendly, non-shedding breeds that will suit your needs below.
3 Best Small Non-Shedding Kid-Friendly Breeds
Choosing the three best small non-shedding, kid-friendly breeds was difficult. There were a couple of other breeds that could easily have been in the top three. These three breeds are known for being exceptionally fond of children, as well as non-shedding. They are also smart and they should learn things like house training and basic manners easily.
The lovely Havanese is originally native to Cuba. The breed has long, silky hair though many owners prefer to keep the coat clipped. They are known for being intelligent, outgoing, and funny. Plus, they adore children. Although they are a small dog, weighing up to 13 pounds, they are sturdy for their size.
Known as a tough, no-frills little working terrier, the Border Terrier is a happy, plucky, affectionate dog. They have a wiry coat that is easy to care for. They weigh up to about 15.5 pounds. The Border Terrier makes a great playmate for children. They can have a tendency to chase cats, squirrels, and other animals.
The Norfolk Terrier has a reputation for being fearless, fun-loving, and alert. They are one of the smallest working terriers, weighing up to about 12 pounds. Their coat is hard, wiry, and straight. Norfolk Terriers bond closely with their families and they love children.
10 Best Small Dogs for Families with Kids
Closely related to the Bichon Frise, the Coton de Tulear, and the Havanese, the Bolognese is playful, easy-going, and devoted to their family. They weigh up to 9 pounds. The breed originated in Italy and is still relatively rare in the United States. They are known for being calm and faithful. They have a long, fluffy, pure-white coat but they are non-shedding. They adore children.
Coton de Tulear
Another breed that’s part of the bichon family, the Coton de Tulear weighs up to about 15 pounds. They are sturdier than they look. They are known for being charming, bright, and happy-go-lucky. The breed comes from Madagascar. They have a profuse white coat but they are non-shedding. The Coton bonds closely with its family and the breeds is crazy about children.
American Hairless Terrier
Originating in Louisiana, the American Hairless Terrier is, as the name suggests, hairless, though there is a coated variety. They weigh up to about 16 pounds. The breed is energetic, alert, and curious. They are known as very smart dogs and they are very active. They are protective of their family and considered to be good with children.
The Bedlington Terrier has a crisp, curly coat and they are often said to resemble a lamb. They are charming, loyal dogs. They are gentle and calmer than most other terriers though they make good watchdogs. They do well with an active family. The breed is known for being very good with children. They are non-shedding but their coat needs periodic trimming. Bedlingtons weigh up to about 23 pounds.
Known for being playful and curious, the Bichon Frise is a little fluff of a dog with a white, non-shedding coat. They are friendly but they make good watchdogs. They get along well with other pets and with children. They are considered easy to train. The Bichon weighs up to about 18 pounds.
The Chinese Crested comes in both a hairless and powder puff variety. They weigh up to about 12 pounds. They are considered to be affectionate, alert, and lively. The Crested makes a good family dog and they get along well with children.
The Maltese is an ancient breed that has been on the isle of Malta in the Mediterranean for at least 2000 years. They are known for being gentle, playful, and charming little dogs. They are very small, only weight up to 7 pounds. They have a long single layer of white coat that is low-shedding. Despite their small size, the Maltese is a fearless, hardy little dog. They make good family dogs and they get along well with most children.
Peruvian Inca Orchid
The Peruvian Inca Orchid comes in both a hairless and coated variety. They also come in a small, medium, and large size. Considered to be affectionate, loyal, and noble, the breed is also agile, smart, and swift. Small Peruvian Inca Orchids weigh up to about 17.5 pounds and stand between 10 and 16 inches at the shoulder. The breed makes a devoted family dog and is usually good with children. However, small pets can be seen as prey.
Poodle (Miniature, Toy)
Poodles come in three different sizes. The Standard Poodle – the largest of the Poodle varieties – is usually recommended for homes with children. However, if you are looking for a smaller Poodle, the Toy Poodle measures up to 11 inches tall at the shoulder; and the Miniature Poodle stands up to 15 inches tall at the shoulder. Poodles are always super smart and give the appearance of being proud. They are also quite active. Don’t be put off by the idea of froo-froo haircuts. Many Poodles have an all-over trim that looks nice. They are very athletic dogs that began as water retrievers. All of the Poodles are very versatile and easy to train. They make very good family dogs.
Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka
The name of this breed translates to “Russian Colored Lapdog” and they were almost extinct until the end of the Cold War. They are another member of the bichon family. They were bred to be the perfect house pet for apartment living. They are sweet, loving, intelligent and eager to please. They are always friendly and have no aggression at all. They are small (weighing up to about 11 pounds), funny, clever, and intensely loyal to their family. They are also great with children. They are still relatively new to the United States so they haven’t gained full admittance to the American Kennel Club yet, but the Bolonka is so sweet – and non-shedding – that it’s only a matter of time until more people learn about them.
There are some great non-shedding breeds that are good with kids. We hope you can use the information here to find a dog that is perfect for your family. Some of these breeds are well-known and others aren’t. Talk to breeders and let them assist you, especially if you have someone in your family that is allergic to dogs. It’s important that you meet the individual puppy or dog you are interested in before you take it home. Just because a breed has a reputation for being “hypoallergenic” or non-shedding doesn’t mean that every dog is the same. Some dogs will trigger an allergic reaction more than (or less than) others. If you can’t meet the dog in person for some reason, ask the breeder to send a ziplock bag of the dog’s hair so you can see if you or your family member have an allergic reaction to it. (Don’t worry. Breeders are used to this kind of request.) Good luck to you and your family in choosing your new dog!